Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Happiness in the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa
Li-Wei Chao – CEF.UP
“Fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption is good for physical health. Recent evidence suggests FV consumption is related also to greater mental health, although proof of causation eludes current literature. We advance this line of research with several innovations. (1) Using fixed effect regression with the consumer price index of FV as instrumental variable, we provide convincing evidence of a causal effect of FV on life satisfaction and other mental health measures. (2) Using control function method, we show the importance of controlling for endogeneity even having controlled for fixed effect heterogeneity. (3) Using data from the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa, we find similar elasticities of FV’s treatment effect on improving mental well-being. (4) Tracing out the marginal treatment effect (MTE) curve for meeting World Health Organization’s (WHO) five FV servings a day recommendation, we further find that while both low and high FV consumers derive similar potential outcome when they meet WHO’s five-a-day recommendation, high FV consumers (compared to low FV consumers) derive much worse potential outcome had they fallen below the WHO FV guideline. (5) Using FV price reduction as a potential policy instrument, we present the policy relevant treatment effect of meeting WHO’s five-a-day recommendation.”
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“Cef.up is financed by Portuguese public funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., in the framework of the project with reference UIDB/04105/2020”